A day to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who sacrificed, and show gratitude towards our honorably discharged military, Veterans Day is a special American holiday celebrated across the nation on November 11. While you could stay home with a TV program or attend the same local event as last year, why not take this time to travel and celebrate with fellow Americans in a new way? It’s a great opportunity to see how other citizens observe the holiday and maybe take a few ideas home for next year. Spend this Veterans Day celebrating in the Great Smoky Mountains — with the Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration, a picnic at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, a visit to the Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville, and a cookout at your American-themed cabin!
Veterans Day Celebration
FREE to the public and recognized as an official regional site for the Observance of Veterans Day by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Day National Committee, attend the Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration with family and friends. This respected event is held annually on November 11, boasts live performances, and even features an aircraft flyover — last year (2018) was a UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter!
“We use this commemorative day as a moment to step back and recognize the heroism of our military and honor the sacrifices they have made to protect our rights as citizens of the United States of America. We are proud to celebrate…this special ceremony in Gatlinburg.” — Mark Adams, President of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
Flags cover the streets, including a massive flag backdrop at the center of the celebration in the plaza of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Touching speeches are presented, and our military branches are honored with their respective songs, asking all veterans to stand in recognition of their dedicated service. There will be a school band, possible bag pipe performer, Boy and Girl Scout presentations, and (our personal favorite) a Wings to Soar demonstration with a real American bald eagle!
The Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration begins at 11AM, so be sure to get there early (about an hour) for a good parking spot and choice seat!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (plaza)
88 River Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Patriot Park Picnic
After attending the Veterans Day event in Gatlinburg, wander over to Pigeon Forge and enjoy a picnic at Patriot Park. Nestled alongside the Little Pigeon River, this is a beautiful spot to reflect on the protection and freedom provided by our beloved veterans. As the name suggests, there are memorials throughout the park in honor of locals who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
After lounging and snacking together, stretch your legs around the ½-mile walking trail. While strolling, you’ll find flags of every state along with the veteran memorials. This park is also pet friendly, so Fido can come along to celebrate, too!
Patriot Park is open year-round, 24/7 — go when you please!
186 Old Mill Avenue
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Tennessee Museum of Aviation
Any warbird fans in the cabin? Well, another fine way to celebrate this Veterans Day holiday is visiting the Tennessee Museum of Aviation in nearby Sevierville. Featuring a stunning collection of airworthy warbirds plus helicopters, amphibious aircraft, jets, military vehicles, aircraft engines, trainers, fighters, and more, this museum will be a highlight of your time in the Smokies.
The best part? You just might witness an unscheduled flight demonstration, which occurs more than often than not! If you’re celebrating with a large group, you can even book their 35,000-square-foot hanger for an event of your own. While children 6 and under can enter for FREE, admission is $12.75 for adults, $9.75 for seniors, $6.75 for kiddos 6-12 years of age, and there’s even a military offer (ID required) at $8.75.
Check out the Tennessee Museum of Aviation!
Open March 1 – November 30 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays, we recommend visiting aviation museum the Saturday prior (November 9) or the Tuesday after (November 12) the Veterans Day Celebration.
Tennessee Museum of Aviation
135 Air Museum Way
Sevierville, TN 37862
Another great way to celebrate Veterans Day in the Smokies is with a good ole cabin cookout! Marinate steaks in the fridge, whip up sides on the stove, and fire up the gas or charcoal grill. Then, dine inside or outdoors with a beautiful mountain, wooded, river, or city view. Offering cabins of all shapes and sizes with fun amenities to boot (like a private indoor pool, rec room with games, stone fireplaces, or a home theater), Cabins for YOU has just what your Veterans Day trip needs.
Plus, you can take your patriotic stay to a whole new level with American-themed cabins! And along with many shops, restaurants, and attractions in town, we offer a military discount of 10% OFF! Restrictions apply.
Cabins for YOU offers properties year-round, 24/7 — stay, play, and make memories anytime! You can book online at any hour or give us a call at 1.800.684.7865 Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturday – Sunday between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Our cabins (currently at 360) are located across Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN – and each offers keyless entry. So, there’s no need to stop at an office. Convenient, right? You just pull up to your cabin, enter the provided unique keycode, and start your vacation!
Spend Veterans Day in the Smokies this year with family and friends — grilling at your American cabin, encountering warbirds at the aviation museum, picnicking with your pup in Patriot Park, and attending the Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration!